Airports Council International (ACI) World and ACI Latin America-Caribbean have called for an industry-wide response to the growing demand for air services in the region.
The Latin America-Caribbean region experienced an economic recovery in 2017 after several years of weak performance. While passenger traffic growth rates showed resilience during this time, with results greater than 5% every year from 2010, they began declining in 2016.
Since then, there has been a return to strong growth with a year-over-year passenger traffic growth for the region of 4% in 2017.
To keep pace with the continued growth in passenger traffic growth in an increasingly commercial and competitive business environment, ACI asserts that airports must be able to collect sufficient revenues to finance investments in infrastructure and operations while also maintaining high levels of service for passengers.
Angela Gittens, director general, ACI World, said, “Aviation is a vital industry in the Latin America-Caribbean region, supporting 7.2 million jobs and providing US$156bn in economic value. Global demand for air services is growing and, the aviation industry must come together to respond to these challenges and help to ensure communities continue to reap the social and economic benefits of air service growth.
“Policy at a national and global level should be focused on facilitating sustainable growth over the long term so airports have the flexibility and consistency in regulatory frameworks to better serve their communities, invest in infrastructure and service improvement, and meet future demand.
“In many cases around the world, including in the Latin American-Caribbean region, private investment in airports has been successful in providing new or improved infrastructure, better facilities, and a positive influence on passenger experience.”
Martin Eurnekian, CEO of Corporación América Airports, President of Aeropuertos Argentina 2000, and president for ACI Latin America-Caribbean, said, “It is heartening to see that passenger traffic growth in our region is showing strong signs of revival but with this comes challenges that we must all work together to overcome. With the expected growth of demand in our region, airports are experiencing capacity challenges similar to those faced in Europe and North America.
“If airports, airlines and our partners in government do not work together and prepare to meet this demand, we risk the prospect of increased congestion both in airspace and at airports. Now is the time to work together to address these challenges, to develop new strategies, and to plan to better cope with traffic growth in the short-term.”
ACI has long advocated for appropriate levels of private investment in airports to help airports improve facilities, create new and resilient infrastructure, and maintain service levels.